When I wrote a column last year about the need for guy getaways, it was already late in the football season and I was offering food for thought for the 2009-10 season. With Week 1 of the new season over and done, and a taste for football starting to build up, it might be a good idea to revisit the idea of those guy getaways.
It’s also top of mind for me again because in a few weeks, the New York Jets will be heading back to New Orleans— and so will thousands of their fans, filling hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. (I won't be among them this time, sad to say.) And so I offer my thoughts on sports trips once again. (The only thing that’s really changed since a year ago is that the term “man-cation” seems to have mercifully faded into oblivion.)
While sports travel packages and Vegas weekends abound on the Internet, travel professionals would be wise to promote some of these trips on their own. An enterprising agent could drum up some business— and a healthy commission— on the cheap by posting flyers in local bars and restaurants offering group deals to road games for local teams. One agent I know here in New York does extremely well every year sending Jet fans down to Miami for winter games against the Dolphins— take a look at your local team’s schedule and see what enticing destinations they may be heading to during the season. For fans trapped in cold-weather cities such as Buffalo, Green Bay and Pittsburgh, a long weekend in Tampa Bay, San Diego or Phoenix could be a welcome break.
The Super Bowl is always a destination event, but agents can create packages built around it that don’t require trying to book a hotel or score tickets in an overcrowded host city. Vegas and the Caribbean have become hugely popular for Super Bowl weekend trips—particularly Vegas, where betting on the game is perfectly legal.
Once you start thinking about sports travel, the possibilities are endless. Beyond playoffs and championships in the four major league sports, there are NASCAR events, Triple Crown horse races, college basketball’s March Madness… the list goes on. Agents who promote themselves as specialists in sports travel can build a solid client base of men— as well as women and families— looking for unique getaways.